NDP flip-flops on ethics and partisanship

According to CTV, Bernard Shapiro’s days are numbered. The network has learned that the Conservatives are already shopping around for a new ethics czar and I was happy to see that Ed Broadbent was tapped for the job. Broadbent was one of the most vocal critics of the embattled ethics commissioner and former head of McGill. In his package of Parliamentary and ethics reforms that he promised to implement during the election, the replacement of this so-called non-partisan Liberal appointee with a truly non-partisan officer of government makes a lot of sense.

Unfortunately, Broadbent has declined Stephen Harper’s offer as the NDP elder is caring for his ill wife.

Broadbent would have been a good non-partisan choice, especially in the face of what current NDP MP Peter Julian had to offer yesterday on Stephen Harper’s refusal to cooperate with the Ethics czar’s sham investigation into Emerson’s floor crossing.

I certainly hope that he’ll reconsider his position, that the reaction on the weekend was just a very strong reaction based on partisan motives — Peter Julian, partisan NDP MP

Of course, Peter Julian is part of the BC NDP federal caucus and is voicing his partisan and invested opinion into the matter. You see, this whole “ethics” row has been caused by Liberal and mostly NDP upset into the appointment of former Liberal David Emerson to cabinet by Stephen Harper. The NDP colleague of Julian’s ran second to Emerson in that riding and has been the instigator of much of the public outcry in that riding.

So, now we see a NDP partisan call into starting an ethics investigation by a Liberal Ethics Commissioner into the actions of a Conservative Prime Minister, which acted within the framework of the laws of this country.

Stephen Harper has called for a non-partisan appointment of an ethics commissioner, in the face of partisan opposition.

One should also note that this partisanship over ethics doesn’t come exclusively from the BC NDP MP. On Don Newman’s Politics program yesterday on CBC Newsworld, NDP leader Jack Layton said that he was “shocked” as to why the Prime Minister would criticize Bernard Shapiro.

Now, let’s deconstruct Jack Layton’s partisan silliness about what is supposed to be a non-partisan officer of Parliament. Jack should be working towards matching Broadbent’s legacy.

“I don’t want to impugn his honesty but the way [Shapiro] has handled the office, it leaves open the clear question of his impartiality because of what he has decided to do or what he has decided not to do” — Ed Broadbent, Edmonton Journal, May 11, 2005

Is Jack “shocked” at Broadbent’s criticism?

“He should seriously think about [resigning] … Mr. Shapiro has not performed well. This is a serious political position he’s in, and it’s a complex position. But he … demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about what ministerial accountability means.” — Ed Broadbent, Globe and Mail, June 3rd 2005

Ed thinks Shapiro should have resigned long ago…

“I think it’s totally, utterly, completely unacceptable and Mr. Shapiro should resign … On decision after decision, he’s made simply the wrong decision” — Ed Broadbent, Ottawa Citizen, June 18th 2005